QuoteCompanies including Microsoft, RealNetworks and Apple Computer have developed advanced codecs to take advantage of the widening adoption of digital media, with quality improvements at each step of the way; and all the companies are jockeying for dominance in PC and non-PC markets. But while Microsoft is pushing for adoption of its proprietary technology by consumer-electronics manufacturers and content owners, Apple and RealNetworks have turned to support of MPEG-4.
QuoteLinux has caught on in lesser computers that handle tasks such as dishing up Web pages or storing files. But a new study this month from investment bank Goldman Sachs said that Linux, benefiting from a foundation of less-expensive Intel hardware, is headed toward the Unix realm where customers are demanding, computing tasks are intense and prices are high.
QuoteThe wandering star, T Tauri Sb, lies 450 light years away in the constellation Taurus. Astronomers have plotted its course for nearly 20 years. At first it seemed to be orbiting a pair of larger stars, T Tauri Sa, in an off-centre ellipse.
In 1995, T Tauri Sb passed about as close to T Tauri Sa as Mars is to the Sun. After this, "the shape and velocity of the orbit changed dramatically", says Laurent Loinard of the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City.
T Tauri Sb's speed doubled, from 10 to 20 kilometres per second. Instead of curving back towards the T Tauri Sa pair, it is now heading away from them, Loinard told the American Astronomical Society meeting this week in Seattle.
QuoteBlack holes love to feast. Among their favorite food is gas. Today, astronomers announced they've made the most detailed observations ever of giant clouds of gas very near a colossal black hole.
On the black hole's dinner plate was carbon monoxide. Some of it will almost surely be consumed, the researchers say. Scientists have struggled to observe these final stages of consumption, because black holes are far away and because the eating generates a lot of light that drowns out what's happening.
QuoteHow much astronomy do you know? I mean, really know. Completely, self-assuredly, bet-your-bottom-dollar, 100 percent absolutely certain you know.
QuoteAstronomers used the gravity of the galaxy cluster Abell 1689 to zoom in on the objects behind it. They think they may have spotted galaxies 13 billion light years away, from when the Universe was 2 billion years old.
QuoteThe fastest Pentium 4 designed for notebooks, Intel's 2.2GHz Pentium 4-M, lists for $562. The desktop version of the same chip costs $193, while Intel's 2.53GHz Pentium 4 lists for $243 and its 2.8GHz for $401.
QuoteAlso on Wednesday, Evolution introduced a prototype personal robot, the ER2. The machine, a small, stout robot with a camera eye, earlike appendages and a video screen on its chest, comes with VSLAM technology and can carry out tasks ranging from home security to reading with children to videoconferencing, the company says. Evolution is seeking a manufacturing partner to mass-produce the robot, Louvat said. He expects it to reach the market either this year or next year with a price ranging from $1,000 to $2,000.
QuoteIn Japan, game magazine publisher Mediaworks said Thursday it estimated GameCube sales at 409,747 units in the period from October 28 to January 5, less than half the PlayStation 2's 966,089 tally. Only 62,718 Xbox consoles were sold in Japan during the period, the publisher said.
Quote"Here it is: gravity does move at the same speed as light. Our actual figure was 1.06 times the speed of light, but we have an error of plus or minus 0.21. (...) This vindicates Einstein's instinct when formulating his general theory of relativity."
QuoteDozens of massive stars in the Carina Nebula fry protoplanetary disks around presumed newborn stars with massive doses of ultraviolet radiation. The UV rays cook the dust by a process called photoevaporation.
QuoteThe asteroid, known as 2002 AA29, will pass within 5.9 million kilometres (3.7 million miles) of the planet. This is the closest it has come for almost a century but is no near miss in astronomical terms.
QuoteThe jet of material, stretching across many thousands of light-years, has been known to radio astronomers for many years. Only now, however, have they learned that the galaxy, called 0313-192, has a spiral shape like our own Milky Way.
QuoteInstead of moving to 802.11a from 802.11b Wi-Fi, many manufacturers are producing gear that uses the 802.11g, analysts say. An 802.11g network is as fast as an 802.11a, and it can be used by anyone with an 802.11b modem in a laptop or personal digital assistant.
QuoteThe standard design for the Mini-PC calls for a folding 5.8-inch screen with 800-by-480 resolution, a 20GB hard drive, built-in wireless networking and batteries capable of running three to four hours on a single charge. The devices will run the Windows XP operating system and standard PC applications such as Microsoft Office. All of this will be crammed into a case about the size of a paperback novel, a little more than an inch thick and weighing about a pound.
Quote"We are at a juncture now where Microsoft and other providers are trying to convince businesses that their services are suitable for mission-
critical communications. It's a time when people are coming back to work. When systems fail, it's a double insult. This was the worst time for something like
this to happen."
QuoteIndeed, evidence for such events, which astronomers are viewing 26,000 years later due to the time it takes light to travel to Earth from the center of the galaxy, can be found in the image. A faint streak of X-rays about one light-year long has been discovered 1.5 light-years from Sgr A*. The streak points at Sgr A*, suggesting the streak may be a jet of particles expelled at nearly the speed of light from just outside the event horizon of the black hole. The intensity and size of this jet indicate the flaring activity has been occurring for many years.
On a much larger scale, huge lobes of 20-million-degree- Centigrade gas, extending over dozens of light-years on either side of the black hole, have also been discovered. "These lobes show that enormous explosions have occurred several times over the last 10,000 years," said Mark Morris of UCLA, lead author of a second paper on Sgr A*, who also participated in the press conference.
QuoteThe planet, dubbed OGLE-TR-56b, is about the size of Jupiter. It is extremely hot and whips around its star in the constellation Sagittarius every 29 hours, compared with Earth's 365-day orbit round the sun.
"The new planet is in the strangest-ever orbit," Sasselov said. "It's so hot there, it rains iron."
QuoteIt is also unclear how such a structure might have formed. One possibility is that the stars originated within our galaxy but were flung out over time. Another is that the gravity of the Milky Way tore a smaller satellite galaxy to pieces leaving this outer debris.
If confirmed, the existence of a ring of stars encircling the Milky Way would not be a complete surprise, says Michael Merrifield, at Nottingham University, UK. "There are quite a number of other spiral galaxies similar to the Milky Way that have been observed to be surrounded by faint rings of stars," he says.
Quote"Nothing based on water can flow at these temperatures, so the culprit must be avalanches of gaseous carbon dioxide and rocky debris."
This is because carbon dioxide does not melt on Mars: it boils directly from the solid - a process called sublimation.
"The boiling dry ice acts like a armada of miniature hovercraft carrying a shower of sand, dust, and tumbling rocks down the slope, carving out the gullies as it goes," Dr Hoffman says.
QuoteNo decision has yet been publicly announced, although FCC officials have said they hope to complete the process by late February. Meanwhile, companies whose plans rely on access to local phone networks are bracing for a sea change that they say could have sweeping effects on competition and customers' Internet choices. Small companies are worried about being driven out of business, companies as large as AT&T are concerned about losing access to local phone networks, and the big local phone companies scent a policy victory they've sought for years.
In that country and others, network companies are investing billions or trillions of dollars for higher-speed connections than are typically seen in the United States, as well. Korean officials said that by 2005, 13 million South Koreans would subscribe to broadband services that averaged 20mbps, or 10 to 20 times faster than the average U.S. connection.
QuoteThe new SGI system can use a stock version of Linux from Red Hat, said Greg Estes, the company's vice president of corporate marketing. But SGI recommends using a modified version that includes improvements such as SGI's XFS file system and software that takes advantage of specific features in the SGI systems. SGI also has contributed to work such as the Linux Scalability Effort to improve the operating system on high-end machines.
There are two configurations of the Altix system: the 3300, with as many as 12 processors, and the 3700, with as many as 64. Each system will accept sequels to the current Itanium 2 product, including models code-named Madison and Montecito, due for release this year and next.
A 16-processor 3700 with 16GB of memory costs $305,000, and a 64-processor system with 64MB of memory costs $1 million, according to SGI.
QuoteBy adding a license for the audio and video compression software, or codecs, of Windows Media 9, Microsoft is extending the technology beyond its Windows operating system, where the software is available for free. Microsoft hopes that cell phone makers or Web publishers running Linux operating systems, for example, will be more willing to license Microsoft’s proprietary media technology, since they will no longer be required to also adopt the Windows operating system.
QuoteRambus has developed two technologies for memory and system bus interfaces. The memory interface, known as "Yellowstone," allows data rates of up to 3.2GHz, which is much faster than conventional DDR (dual data rate) memory technology, according to Rambus. Rambus' forthcoming processor bus, known as "Redwood," is a high-speed parallel interface that delivers data to various integrated circuits on a processor.
QuoteU.S. shoppers spent more than $13 billion online in the 2002 holiday season, according to new reports from Jupiter Research and Nielsen/NetRatings. The figures come at a time when retailers are reporting dismal numbers and analysts are pegging the season as one of the worst in years. Chains including Federated Department Stores, Wal-Mart and Target all reported weak sales coming off the Christmas rush.
QuoteHitachi expects an increase in demand for HDD, not just for use in personal computers and servers, but also for consumer electronics such as car audio and set-top boxes. The company's rivals include Seagate Technology, Maxtor Corp. and Western Digital Corp.
New in Hitachi's product range is a drive specifically for automotive applications: the Travelstar A4K20. This 2.5-inch hard disk drive offers 20G bytes of storage for car navigation and car audio applications and will be available in the second quarter.
QuoteWhat exactly do you mean when you say it's all going to be there?
You take all the various information media that you have--for example, your correspondence, all the e-mail or letters that you write and print. All the papers that you wrote or read. One of the capabilities we have in MyLifeBits now is that you turn on the browser or the explorer and capture every page you looked at. The system now captures everything that you see that comes to you electronically.